But this season, many are talking about his impressive form, having helped Stars to a cup double.
At 31, you wouldn’t say the midfielder is old, but it seems he is reaching his peak at the right time with his pace and skilful play. The son of Soweto admits that he is delighted with his contribution for Stars although he did admit that there was always room for improvement.
“This season is all about believing and enjoying what you know best,” Tshabalala explains.
Even though it is very hard to single out a single player at Stars, looking at the way they have beaten the so-called big three – Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs – en route to winning their double.
Tshabalala, Robert Ng’ambi, Mogakolodi Ngele, Lindokuhle Mbhatha and Henrico Botes are just a few of the players who have stood tall for Stars this season.
And Tshabalala explains that this is one of the key reasons behind their success this season.
“We are working very hard as a team and that’s what defines my performance. The guys are pushing me to work hard,” he said.
“I must not be afraid to lose the ball when we are attacking and the coach is pushing me very hard. If I don’t perform well he will come to me and tell me where I need to improve. I think the extra training that I do on the side has really helped me.”
He also praised coach Allan Freese for his recent success and the team’s performance and believes that Stars will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
“Our coach always tells us to hold the ball and that we must keep it for a long time. That’s how we frustrate the opposition and he says we must enjoy ourselves. You can see that we are enjoying ourselves on the pitch. That’s what has been working for us.”
Dikwena host Pirates in a third round league match on Monday, having already met twice already in cup finals, with Stars winning both matches.